‘The Creed of Kromon’
The Doctor and Charley find themselves in the Interzone, a connected system of spheres ruled over by an entity known as Kro’Ka. Forced through a series of tests and tirtured by their memories, the Kro’Ka learns of the Doctor’s origins and is intrigued by the notion of travel outside of its small universe. It allows the pair of travelers safe passage through the Interzone, but is clearly watching them carefully, as a scientists observes an experiment.
In the vast wasteland of Eutermes, the Doctor and Charley meet C’rizz, a heart-broken man living in a society ruled over by massive insect-like creatures. Every inhabitant has a role, a purpose, and lives out a very limited lifespan in their tiny world. C’rizz was intended to be a member of the royal class, a collaborator with the Kromon over his people, but found himself exiled when the mind-control process failed on him. A strange liquid, ingested during a ceremony, failed to work on him, but transformed his lover L’da into a zombie.
The Doctor is anxious to find his TARDIS, but is driven to confront the Kromon and end their wicked regime.
I have often viewed Philip Martin as a writer of untapped potential. Creator of the post-modern program ‘Gangsters,’ (which starred the excellent Maurice Colbourne, who later turned up as Lytton in a pair of Doctor Who stories) he is the author of the Doctor Who adventures Vengeance On Varos and Mindwarp, two of the memorable TV stories starring Colin Baker. Both stories are very traditional in structure in that they feature the Doctor rebelling against systems of control and restriction. The Creed of Kromon continues this trend with the Doctor acting as one man in the face of an entire culture ruled over by the the Kromon.
Ultimately Creed of the Kromon is a rather dull story with very little to offer. This is especially disappointing after the spectacular ‘Scherzo’ just prior to this one. The landscape and world that the story is set in is very interesting and it is of course refreshing to have an alien companion for once, but all of the development that the Doctor and Charley have endured over the course of the previous tales has somehow evaporated, leaving them stock characters with little to say to each other.
C’rizz, on the other hand, receives great heaping loads of development. Teaming up with the Doctor and Charley, he tries to overthrow the Kromon who are cross-breeding with C’rizz’s people through genetic manipulation. Charley is saved from being assigned as breeding stock, but L’da has been transformed into a monstrosity pumping out hatchlings. Horrified, C’rizz grants her a merciful death. However, the experience leaves him a broken man who craves death and oblivion for his actions.
With the Doctor’s help, C’rizz overcomes his grief and takes down the Kromon, a combination of an evil monster and a corporation, giving freedom back to the population. The Doctor and Charley are allowed to continue their travels through the Interzone, this time with C’rizz who is interested in uncovering the truth behind his world and how the Kromon took control.
A tremendously traditional story, The Creed of Kromon is by the numbers Doctor Who with very few twists including the new dimensional setting and a new companion. The loss of the TARDIS and the immense power of the Kro’ka are intriguing and open up some new possibilities, but the end result is rather blandIn the end, I found myself struggling to maintain interest.